From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Borrowed from Latin initiātus, perfect passive participle of initiō (begin, originate), from initium (a beginning), from ineō (go in, enter upon, begin), from in + (go).


  • (verb) IPA(key): /ɪˈnɪʃ.i.eɪt/, /ɪˈnɪʃ.ɪ.eɪt/
    • (file)
  • (noun, adjective) IPA(key): /ɪˈnɪʃ.i.ət/, /ɪˈnɪʃ.ɪ.ət/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ini‧ti‧ate


initiate (plural initiates)

  1. A new member of an organization.
  2. One who has been through a ceremony of initiation.
  3. One who is oriented in and familiar with a topic or subject; especially, one who is an expert in it.
    Antonym: noninitiate
    Coordinate terms: expert, nonexpert, layperson, amateur, dilettante, journeyman, master



initiate (third-person singular simple present initiates, present participle initiating, simple past and past participle initiated)

  1. (transitive) To begin; to start.
    • 1860, Isaac Taylor, “(please specify the page)”, in Ultimate Civilization and Other Essays, London: Bell and Daldy [], →OCLC:
      How are changes of this sort to be initiated?
  2. (transitive) To instruct in the rudiments or principles; to introduce.
    • 1653, Henry More, An Antidote against Atheisme, or An Appeal to the Natural Faculties of the Minde of Man, whether There Be Not a God, London: [] Roger Daniel, [], →OCLC:
      Divine Providence would only initiate and enter mankind into the useful knowledge of her, leaving the rest to employ our industry.
    • 1693, [John Locke], “§94”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], →OCLC:
      to initiate his pupil in any part of learning
  3. (transitive) To confer membership on; especially, to admit to a secret order with mysterious rites or ceremonies.
  4. (intransitive) To do the first act; to perform the first rite; to take the initiative.



Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

  • resume (to begin where one left off)


initiate (comparative more initiate, superlative most initiate)

  1. (obsolete) Unpractised; untried; new.
  2. (obsolete) Begun; commenced; introduced to, or instructed in, the rudiments; newly admitted.

Further reading[edit]




  1. vocative masculine singular of initiātus